Shoefiti (GNW 26/10/09: 7 Days In 7 Seconds)

Shoefiti is back! Sydney is seeing a renaissance in the trend of throwing shoes over powerlines. It’s like graffiti, but much harder to paint over! / but also gets rid of unwanted shoes.

It’s usually done with sneakers, as it’s really hard to get the balance right with a pair of Blundstones.

Shoefiti is a great way of expressing yourself artistically, particularly if you’re a talentless moron with too many shoes. / particularly if all you’ve got to express is ‘look, shoes’.

Shoefiti is a great form of public artistry if you can’t afford spray-paint and no-one will buy your shoes.

The strangest shoe-haul was in Cronulla two years ago, when 30 right-footed K-Swiss shoes were found hanging from power lines. Probably just a one-legged man who’d taken advantage of a decent half-price deal.

Theories abound as to what the shoes signify. It’s thought that sneakers may mark drug dealers, GPs signify graduating army cadets, and thigh-high CFMs mean brothels. / and that junior-sized ballet shoes represent a psychopathic child-killer with too much time on his hands.

Some say the shoes mark a gang-related murder, especially if the person in question was killed for their shoes.

Some say the shoes mark a gang-related murder – although if the person in question was killed for their shoes, you might think the thief would take better care of them.

One explanation is that it’s just a bunch of unrealistic magpies who are particularly bad at making nests. / bunch of nests built by really incompetent magpies.

A common theory is that the shoes signify a nearby illicit drug house, as you’d have to be completely munted to throw your shoes over power lines.

Anthropologists say that the common theory that the shoes mark drug dealers is unlikely to be true, as drug dealers have shithouse coordination.

Many believe that drug-runners use the shoes to identify where their houses are. It’s known as the “might as well put up a big sign saying DRUG DEALER” technique.

Many believe that drug-runners use the shoes to identify where their houses are. And only if that doesn’t increase trade do they have to erect the big sign saying “DRUG DEALER”.

Many believe that drug-runners use the shoes to identify where their houses are. Because what drug-dealers want to do most of all is let the general public know where they live.

But why would it signify drug dealers? Surely it would be better to signify overstocked shoe sellers. / shoe shops having a stocktake sale.

Though for an even better indication of heroin and crack dealers, look for the pallid corpse slung over the power lines.

One theory is that it signifies tight-rope walkers who really should’ve taken better care tying up their laces.

There are many theories as to why the shoes are there, ranging from drug-runners to gang warfare. But by far the best explanation is that our teenagers simply have too many shoes.

Others believe that the shoes mark the borderlines of gangland turf. Clearly it’s the newbies who are giving the job of standing in at the edges slinging footwear. / Because nothing says ‘don’t mess with us’ like unattended footwear.

But of course there’s a rational explanation. It’s clearly just the sneaker fairy making an offering to the gods of electrical infrastructure.

I know! They’re not shoes at all – they’re alien life forms DISGUISED as shoes, who have come down for a closer look and ZAP! been killed by the powerlines. I mean, what else could it be?

Another theory is that it’s just the work of extremely tall nocturnal footwear washers, simply hanging their work out to dry.

A Sydney anthropologist said that all the theories are wrong, and that the culprits are probably “young people”. After all, he’s pretty sure those meddlesome kids are up to SOMETHING.

The practice is known as “shoefiti”, but only by one or two bored copy editors who really think that some hanging footwear is actually news. / is actually printworthy current affairs.

Just like graffiti, most shoefiti is just tagging, but the best shoefiti artists can spell their name out across a suburb in laceless boots. / ballet flats.

It’s pretty weird finding your neighbourhood strung up with shoes – but not as strange as finding it strung up with feet.

But shoefiti can be a menace, causing power outages that far outweigh the old days when hooligans used to simply cut down power poles with their sneakers.

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